Fire burns all the time…

In soaking group this week I recalled a truth and a ‘coincidence’ that at the time kissed my tired heart alive. It still leaves me in awe of a good God.

In 2008, I attended revival meetings in the USA. It was a big deal leaving my family. Master M was 15 months, and Mistress R not yet 5. I was home full time with them, and I missed them dreadfully. There were tears all round at the airport.

I came back from the US more on fire for God than I was before, if that was possible. I was already blazing hot, but I believed that the revival had set me more alight somehow, and I felt it was my job to keep that flame burning hot. Those women with oiled up lamps were onto something! (see Matthew 25:1-13)

I had already started to ‘stop for the one.’ I was seeing miracles, healings, and experienced profound encounters on the streets and in my own life. All unexplained by ‘logic,’ but none-the-less real. I would not have believed it if I had not experienced it myself.

As a young mum, life got busy, and the vigour seemed to settle somewhat. On the surface, I was running hot, but this striving perfectionist was not burning as hot as before, and it bothered me.

One afternoon, with the youngest asleep in bed, I sat at my desk and cried. R (5 years old by this time) sat on the floor quietly drawing. Deep in thought, she asked me how to spell a few words. Nothing profound. Nothing out of sorts.

Moments passed. I was miserable. I was so sad and knew I had somehow missed ‘it.’ I sat and struggling to work out how I could ‘fix it, fix myself’.

As I sat, a little person gently came to my side placing her masterpiece before me.

‘This is for you, mummy,’ she said with eyes shining. ‘God wants you to have this.’

And there, in red, orange and yellow pencil, were 5 words:

FIRE BURNS ALL THE TIME

I looked at her incredulously.

I had said nothing to her. I had kept my thoughts quiet in my mind.

Fire burns all the time…

The blaze may not be discernible, but it burns.

It does not take much to fan into flame.

Perhaps you are feeling the same?

If so, listen and look for God’s kisses through your days.

Spend time with Him (come for a soak with us even) and learn how to lean in.

A dry piece of kindling will catch fire and blaze hot if it leans into the flame; so too you. More kindling; greater flame. Community matters.

13 years on I reflect and see with some perspective. If I had kept the pace, I would have burnt out. I know some habits that help now, that I impart in teaching and in my writing. Longevity matters.

A wise man counselled me recently. He said if I have been able to keep doing what I have been doing for the last 10 years, then that was a sustainable Christian lifestyle. It has been a lifestyle that has space for the miraculous and family, friendship and community.

Fire burns all the time…

I believe 1 Samuel 3:3 holds one key.

The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.

(1 Sam 3:3)

The lamp had not yet gone out. Samuel was lying down, positioned where God’s presence was. He did not recognise God’s voice at first, but with the help and guidance of a wiser, older one, he could respond when God called him a third time. Interestingly, Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord – where God was in those days.

These days God is within you; around you; and face to face with you at all times.

So, we are the Ark of God, but are we listening well?

Will we position ourselves to hear?

 

We may be a lamp but if we’re not plugged in, we can’t shine the way we’re designed.

Fire burns all the time…

Will you kindle it into a flame? Lay your head upon His breast and listen to His heartbeat for you, for your family, for the nations?

I retold the testimony briefly in this weeks Aussie soak time. You can have a listen here:

 

Beth’s testimony Fire Burns All the Time (from the mouths of babes):

Fire burns all the time, it will never go out because…

God is Good!

Pulling back and stepping over…either way…God is Good!

I had collected my 5 year-old son from kindy, and felt to pop up to the local shopping centre for a coffee and a donut … a regular “treat” for the two of us …

I had originally thought we were heading straight home (I was tired), but on sensing the prompting of God to go the shops I said to my son “do you get S’land or home? … ask God” …

My son knows how to “play the game” and he piped up from the back seat “S’land.”

So I said, “do you get DJ’s or M?” (sensing to park at the Myer end of the shopping centre) and he instantly responded “M … what does that mean Mum?” and as I steered the car in the direction of S’land I explained where we were going and what “M” meant …

We found a park, and to be completely honest, I hoped that the trip was just a “treat” for the two of us, as opposed to an “assignment”, but as we walked into the centre I saw a man in a wheel chair and felt that familiar prompting from God …

I ignored it – I told you I am willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly and I am human.  I did not want to  stop, I just wanted a treat with my boy, I was stressed (or so I had been told by my GP the day before and my GP must know … pathetic reasoning, but I am being honest) …

I walked on, feeling sad and I said “sorry” to God … knowing I was loved by Him all the same, but feeling sad at my own response.  There was no self-condemnation, well, not for long anyway, but there was a sense of sadness … God’s sadness, and my own sense of sadness at my own response and I intentionally spoke to myself, bringing to mind my own testimonies of a Good God who had seen me through time and time again when I had stopped for “the one” …

Regardless of my choices my little boy and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, and as we wandered through the centre to leave we walked past another wheelchair … well, it was not a “wheelchair” per se, but a person in a wheelchair, for those that are in “the wheelchair” are people … loved by a Good God … people He wants to touch!

I noted the gentle prompting, as I walked past …

My little boy looked up at me and said: “there’s a wheelchair mummy…”.

From the mouths of babes …

I looked at him and said “should we pray for him? you ask God” … he got a “no” but I looked back at the man and knew, and I knew that my boy knew too … so I said “Come on …”.

We approached the man, said “hello”, and I explained what had happened, quickly repeating a testimony of broken legs being healed and I asked if I could pray for him.

He said “you will have to be quick because my wife is in the toilets …” and with that I introduced myself and my son and asked what the problem was.

His name was Dave.  He had muscular dystrophy …

“incurable” he said …

“But for a miracle” I said  “so we will pray for a miracle” … and I held his hand and prayed …

I felt the anointing come.  I prayed for a few moments, felt the release and finished up and I repeated the testimony of A’s healing pointing out how her healing came over two weeks.  I thanked him for allowing me to pray, and he thanked me and as I turned and walked away with my son … I was faced with another wheelchair …

My boy looked and said “maybe we should pray for him too” … and I thought to myself “maybe we should …”

I wish I could say I did …

I didn’t …

There are times when it can be all too much, and yes I agree,  in those times we need to push back and walk through to the promise … I know that in the times we feel we have nothing to give … then God (see when my barrel was empty…then God for a link to such a story).

God was inviting me into something today … I answered just once …

We are always free to choose and, as a beautiful friend said to me on the phone that afternoon, “we are not Jesus … we are being transformed” but she also went on to say “… that of course, that does not excuse us from not walking as Jesus did…” and in doing so she called me to the standard …. she was calling me to be who I am in Christ

Yes, we are all human … we are not Jesus … but we are all called to be like Him, to believe Him when he says …

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) (emphasis added)

I believe God invites us into encounters, invites us to co-labour with Him to achieve His purposes, for the world, for others, for the one, but also for us … I believe every time we say “yes” He celebrates, I am sure I feel the joy of the Father every time I say “yes” … and each time we do we step more deeply into our identity in Him … it’s a “win-win” … the world gets touched, and we get transformed!

I know that he loves us, regardless of whether we say “yes Lord” as the young Samuel did in 1 Samuel 3.  However, I do feel the Father’s delight when I choose to step in and up.  As I do, I reach further into the promises of God for my own life … and for the life of those around me … and as I do I connect with a loving Father’s heart, for me and for the one, and that heart is full of splendour and glory for …

God is Good!